Senior Policy Advocate

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

San Francisco, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Santa Monica, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write many of America’s bedrock environmental laws and their implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.

Position Summary:

NRDC is seeking a Senior Project Attorney/Senior Project Advocate to work with the Oceans Division of the Nature Program. This position will play a leadership role for the Oceans Division in advancing ocean-climate solutions in the policy arena, including enhancing ocean ecosystem resilience and protecting biodiversity through creation of marine protected areas, ending offshore drilling, and advancing responsible offshore renewables. Office location preferences are NRDC’s Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Santa Monica offices; hybrid arrangements may be possible.


  • Develops and implements high impact advocacy strategies and campaigns that advance ocean-climate solutions and other Oceans Division priorities at both legislative and administrative levels;
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships with policy-makers and partner NGOs essential to advancing the Oceans Division priorities, including participating in and/or leading coalition efforts;
  • Provides substantive expertise on range of oceans issues;
  • If attorney, provides legal expertise, including identifying and engaging in strategic litigation;
  • Engages in advocacy that raises the profile of our ocean priorities, including engaging with social and traditional media, blogging, and participating in conferences and other activities to advance program goals;
  • Plays leadership role in setting policy and advocacy priorities for the Oceans Division;
  • Works with Communications, Campaigns and other internal NRDC programs to bring their expertise to bear in advancing Oceans Division priorities;
  • Manages and mentors Oceans Division staff;
  • Plays leadership role in development and fundraising activities for the Division; and
  • Helps set and manage budgets for the Division.


  • JD or advanced degree in environmental policy or sciences
  • 4-10 years of advocacy experience, with expertise in negotiation, agency advocacy, and legislative lobbying
  • Deep, substantive knowledge of policy issues
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze, understand and translate complex scientific, legal and policy matters for advocacy purposes
  • Strong strategic skills relevant to policy, advocacy, litigation (if lawyer), and project development
  • Substantial knowledge of and experience with the federal legislative process
  • Substantial knowledge of and experience in achieving campaign goals and objectives
  • Persuasive verbal and written communications skills
  • Strong inter-personal, relationship-building and networking skills
  • Ability to work with diverse stakeholders in many different modes (from collaborative to confrontational) and exercise leadership on behalf of NRDC
  • Demonstrated ability to work hard and independently
  • Demonstrated management experience
  • Public speaking experience
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet’s most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your qualifications. Due to the high volume of resumes, only qualified candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.

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IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development